This week, the HomePlug Alliance announced a certification and marketing program to promote consumer awareness and acceptance of products implementing IEEE 1905.1.
Since IEEE 1905-1 isn’t very sexy, the new certification suite and branding is called nVoy (Network + Envoy = nVoy).
IEEE 1905.1-2013 is the "IEEE Standard for a Convergent Digital Home Network for Heterogeneous Technologies". It defines a network layer that is intended to make Wi-Fi (wireless), HomePlug (powerline), Ethernet and MoCA (cable) certified products play nice together when combined to create "hybrid" home networks, like the example below.
Example Hybrid network (courtesy WikiPedia)
IEEE 1905-1 forms a layer above the other four standards to handle messaging for device and network topology discovery. Other 1905-1 features include link metrics (availability, PHY rate, packet errors, packet totals), forwarding rules and security / authentication.
IEEE 1905-1 concept
The 1905-1 layer will also pass along Wi-Fi Simple Configuration (WPS) so that Wi-Fi Extenders can self-configure.
The nVoy.org site is pretty sparse right now, but has an nVoy technology primer, a copy of the launch announcement press release and a sign-up-for-more-information link. The nVoy Certification program is being managed by the HomePlug Alliance as an independent entity.
A HomePlug spokesperson said companies seeking nVoy Certification do not need to be members of the HomePlug alliance. But since nVoy is a level above other standards, companies will still need appropriate Homeplug, MoCA and Wi-Fi certifications, which do require association / alliance memberships.
The announcement said development of the nVoy testing and certification program is nearing completion". The first interoperability event is expected in the 3Q2013, with first nVoy Certified products expected by the end of this year.